Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Strange Ways AAP Gets Surveys Done

I came across this week, a survey on the new Aam Aadmi Party's website. 47% of Dilli folks want to give AAP a chance.. Impressive for a new kid on the block.

But the surprise did not long for long. Started reading it through a bit.

The AAP website said further:

Aam Aadmi Party commissioned Cicero Associates(www.ciceroassociates.in), a New Delhi based consultancy firm, specializing in public opinion polling and survey research, to carry out the second round of a Delhi wide survey of a representative sample of Delhi’s voters.  The first wave of the poll was conducted in February 2013, while the data presented here is from the second wave.
Wait a minute.. we have seen this Cicero name somewhere on Twitter. So it took me to the second step. The website of Cicero Associates. Strangely, they are still "upgrading" the most vital piece of their website, the people who own the company.

That made me more curious, because that survey company claimed that their advice is based on results, and not intentions. If the intention is not important, why is the team page empty? Started searching.

Next I landed up on a news paper website.
Twitter was abuzz with charges about how AAP is a Congress front because it chose a company, which has a Congressman as one of the two directors. In the third phase of the survey, AAP had given itself a 28% vote share and Kejriwal as popular preference for the post of chief minister.

A link leading to an article “Proof that Aam Aadmi Party is a front of Congress, survey is false" on a web-based newswire site claimed that one of the two partners of Cicero Associates & Consultants is an office bearer of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC). The DPCC website on Wednesday showed Madhur’s photo and his Badarpur address.
By now it was truly amusing to me..  How can a company seemingly owned by a Congress person (party or fully), can do a survey projecting "massive" opinion in favour of the new kid in political arena, this AAP? The next step was even more better.

Landed up in that page quoted by the newspaper.
For the past few months, we are being bombarded with a survey in which Aam Aadmi Party has claimed victory in Delhi elections. The survey was done by Yogendra Yadav, using an unknown agency called Cicero Associates & Consultants Private Limited. The numbers claimed in the survey were hard for any agency to achieve. They claimed that the survey was carried out between September 5 and October 5 among all 70 assembly constituencies, covering 1,750 polling booths and 34,425 respondents.

As a data scientist, I am quite aware that modern market research is a science and the results cannot differ much from other surveys done by reliable agencies like AC Neilson. Conducting more than 1,000 surveys in a day seemed to be a no mean feat.

The website of Cicero Associates, which was registered just on May 30, 2013, lists their address as A-166, First Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi, Delhi, 110024. So the company did not have a public face before May 30, 2013. The snapshot of the page on that day by Archive.org lists a freshly hosted domain. I am quite familiar with Delhi and know that A-block of Defence Colony cannot house so many field agents to conduct a massive survey. So I decided to investigate.

Registrar of Companies data reveals that the authorised signatories of Cicero Associates are Sunit Kumar Madhur with the address of GA-34, Block GA, Pulpeladpur, New Delhi 110 044. The other Director is Dhananjay Joshi with the address of A-7/3 SFS Flats, Saket, New Delhi 110 017. An authorised signatory is the Karta Dharta of the company.
A simple Google Search reveals that A-166 First Floor, Defence Colony has the office of Langjobs, Interpreters India and other businesses. It certainly didn’t look like a market research entity.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee Site lists one of the Directors of Cicero, as a General Secretary - Shri Sunit Madhur, GA-34, Pul Pahladpur, Badarpur, New Delhi-110 044, 9311012007 as a General Secretary. His own twitter profile describes himself as: “Congress worker. Entrepreneur. Only the people who have to compromise& be pragmatic in their daily lives know the value of idealism and romanticism....”

A name and address like that is unique so both are the same set of people.
The other Director is a property dealer running a firm called Intouch Associates revealed from his profile at 99acres.com.

For Aam Aadmi Party, which is dead against Congress, it seems quite strange that it has to choose a dummy market research company, which is owned by a known Congressman to conduct a survey!

By now I was clear as to what was all this fake survey and worse.. the role of AAP as the B team of Congress as so many people on Twitter say. I initially didn't pay much attention to such theories, but looking at the details here, it was not hard to believe so any more. And this screenshot of research posted on that website, with data from Ministry of Corporate Affairs website confirmed that they had indeed a perfect research done. And you can spot at the left bottom corner of the image, a clear solicitation to get someone to youth or main Congress party. Download and zoom the image if you wish to read thoroughly.

And by the time I got to the twitter account of this Sunit Madhur, Director of this mysterious Cicero Associates, it was probably late. He has no bio there.

Now that you have read till here.. tell me honestly. If you were going to topple Sheila Dikshit's Congress government, why would you get your survey done by a firm owned (partly or fully) by a Congress regional General Secretary? Will you get a survey done by a firm owned by BJP General Secretary (hypothetically), if trying to topple Narendra Modi's government in Gujarat? Will you get a survey done by AIADMK affiliate's company if trying to challenge Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu?

Whom are you trying to fool with such "farzi" surveys, Mr. Kejriwal? Worse.. are there still some people who believe that there is no mysterious "hand" behind this sudden hype of a new kid on the block called AAP? :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mysuru Dasara Procession - Some Tidbits

Today is Mysuru (Mysore) Dasara. After 9 nights worshiping Goddess Chamundi, the 10th day or the Vijaya  Dashami day, Mysuru city in south India, gears itself for the world famous Dasara (Dusshehra) procession.

Here are some tidbits about this procession, that I am lucky to have witnessed many times. Some of the pictures posted are rare, and don't forget to click on them to see the full size spectacle.

The world famous Mysuru Dasara procession is happening continuously for 403 long years! This picture is from 1930s. The Dasara festivities started in 1610 CE.
Image: itslife.in
Here is a rare video footage of Mysuru Dasara 45 years ago, when the Maharajah was at the helm of pooja affairs. Now Maharajah's family's private Dasara is more symbolic, as the state of Karnataka has taken over the dasara celebration as Nada Habba (State Festival). My mother's generation people say that the grand spectacle of 1950s and 1960s is not there anymore, but hey.. life moves on!

For the 9 Navaratri nights plus the finale Dasara procession night, Mysuru palace is lit with 1,00,000 bubs. If you have never been to Mysuru, definitely visit during the next September/October period. It will be very crowded, but the spectacle of a 1 lakh bulb lit palace is worth seeing from all the four sides.
Image: blogspot

To know a bit of  history of what is Mysuru Dasara, what are the local practices, an ever green Kannada song "Mysuru Dasara, Eshtondu Sundara" from 1970 will help. The dance is a bit funny , but lyrics are very meaningful.


Elephants are the main attraction of the Mysuru Dasara. The finale is called Jambu Savari (Jambu meaning elephant, Savari meaning Ride). It literally means the Goddess Chamundi's Pratima (idol) is taken for a grand ride on an elephant. During earlier years, the Maharajah or King also would sit on an elephant, but that does not happen anymore. And since is a world famous event with lakhs of people turning up, 14 disciplined elephants are finalized after practice walks in city. The lives of these elephants is great. They are pampered for most part of the year in thick jungles and all they have to do is to behave well and walk elegantly during the all important Navaratri festival.

The mock drills are to ensure that only the elephants with patience and people friendly attitude are picked, as even one elephant going rogue can be very dangerous during Dasara.

Image: newindianexpress

Then one elephant is made the king of the group. For the year 2013, Mysuru Dasara's main elephant carrying the 750KG golden ambaari (howdah) of Devi Chamundi, is Arjuna. He is 45 years old and weighs a massive 5600 KG!
Image: TheHindu
Arjuna is accompanied by two female elephants on either side, to keep him calm and focused. He has to bear the tremendous weight of 750 KG+ for nearly 3 hours, and in the middle of lakhs of humans all around him! That involves tremendous training.

Mysuru Dasara is among the world's longest running traditional processions. From 1610 CE, EVERY single year, on a grand scale! Here is a panoramic view of the elephants marching with Goddess Chamundi, amidst a sea of humans. Remember, each of these elephants weigh 60 to 80 times an average human!

Image: halobackwaters
Mysuru Dasara is like a mini Indian Republic day parade in Dilli. It brings out 100s of rare cultural and folk dances and performances. Here is one snippet.
Image: akamaihd.net
Finally, after an almost full day of fun on Vijaya Dashami day through the streets, Mysuru dasara culminates with a torchlight parade & show at a ground.

Image: TheHindu
If you haven't seen Mysuru Dasara in person, mark your calendar for the next year. This is one spectacle in India, that you should really see. A combination of centuries old culture and tradition, that is rolling year after year entertaining the people. This is how the city glitters during Navaratri nights!!

{Image: akamaihd, Photographer: Vikas}

Jai Chamundeshwari!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Stand up Comedian called Rahul Gandhi

How do you describe Rahul Gandhi?

Beyond his fan club, this is how Rahul is described by Indians today.
  1. Social Media calls him a Pappu – and it is not for no reason. You will know why after reading this writeup fully.
  2. R Jethmalani frowned at him as a Disaster – This one speech will prove Ram J 100% right.
  3. Youtube comments term him as a retard – And that is not longer an insult. You can see it for yourself why.
  4. S Swamy “praises” him as a Buddhu – He has proved he's way beyond a Buddhu, in this speech.
  5. VS Achuthanandnan laughed at him as an Amul Baby – This speech's logic will even make kids chuckle.
For now, let's politely call him a stand up comedian.. an unintended one, but that's OK :)

There are three parts to this writeup. The Video, Serious questions and Humorous comments. Ideally go in that order, but if you are pressed for time, skip the first or even the second section to run to the third section. 

Section 1:

Firstly, Watch this video of Rahul Gandhi's speech at the CII with hilarious scrolling texts, and you will know why we want to call him a stand up comedian. He turns into a joke by himself, makes no sense, has no oratory skills and makes a mockery of himself by going all around with zero meaningful message delivery.

Rahul Gandhi Epic Fails Marathon at CII (Chamber of Indian Commerce) 

Section 2:
After I made the mistake of listening to the entire video, a hilarious mistake though, let me ask Rahul Gandhi some serious questions. I swear to God, I could not make head or tail of what he was saying, so these are honest questions of a confused listener. If you have a chance to meet Rahul ever, as he has no presence in the social media directly, please pass on these questions to him and educate us about his answers.

1) Dear Rahul Gandhi, What is India?

Rahul: “There is a tendency to look at India as a country. In our everyday life we see India as a national structure. But if you go back slightly more than that, go back a hundred, two hundred years, you would find that India is energy, it is a force. If you go back a thousand years, two thousand years, you would find that force came from our rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati. We worshiped these rivers and the reason we worshiped these rivers was because that is where our energy came from, and everything we had was built on these rivers. Now we have gone way beyond that. We have built structures that are allowing this energy to rise, to explode. And it’s an honour for me to be here because as this energy moves from India and goes abroad, you are the cutting edge. You are the people on the first line. You are the people who are our ambassadors. You are the people who tell the world what this energy is about

Confusion: Dear Rahul, if India is not a country, but a national structure, which was energy 200 years back, also a force 200 years back, was the energy of rivers we worshiped 2000 years back, and now this energy is about to explode, and it will move abroad via the cutting edge first line of business people (the audience), who are also the ambassadors, what should they tell the world India is?? Can you come again?

2) Did anyone in the world think of India in 1991?

Rahul: “Over the last couple of years, you have done a tremendous job. The image of India
has changed. I went to University in 1991, and I remember, nobody thought of India.”

Clarification: Rahul, I don't know if you recall properly while getting into that 'unnamed' university in 1991, but I was old enough in 1991 to absorb the world views clearly. The world was laughing at India that went bankrupt by 1990. Yes, the image was not positive, but the world thought of India daily. It as even projected as a country just about to implode into a balkanized Asian region. Between 1990 and 1992, India was forced by all the major powers of the world, through World Bank and IMF, to get rid of the socialistic hurdles setup by your grand mother and great grand father. We call that now as an economic reform, but it took India a global shame of pawning its gold in London, to make balance of payments during that period. So dear, the world very much thought of India, but with lots of pity, thanks to how your family ruined India's economy by then. And the next phase is happening now with falling Rupee under your mom's government.

3) Rahul, how do you describe nights in India?

Rahul: “It was a dark night some years ago when my team and I got on the Gorakhpur”

Clarification: Dear Rahul, nights are dark everywhere in the word, keeping aside the artificial light or moon light :)

4) Rahul, how long does it take to travel to Mumbai from eastern UP?

Rahul: “from the dust of Gorakhpur to the glitter of Mumbai. Took us Thirty Six hours. It is called an Express!”

Question: Rahul, even in 2012-13 if it takes 36 hours to travel 1650 KM, and you sarcastically call that an “express”, shouldn't the blame go to your family that has ruled India for most part of these years without any significant improvement in the train speed?

5) What is Rahul's idea of the “spirit” of India?

Rahul: “I spoke to a young Muslim boy setting out to start his life. He had no idea what work he was going to do. I asked him, “Boss what happens if you reach Mumbai and there is nothing for you to do?”
(He said): “If I reach Mumbai and there is nothing for me to do, I'll get on a train, I’ll go to
Bangalore.” That is the spirit of this country. Forward moving; brave. ”

Explanation: Dear Rahul Gandhi, that is not called spirit of India. First of all a young man leaving home with no destination in mind, is a shameful state of poverty in Uttar Pradesh from where you and your mother are MPs. Secondly, what you are describing as “forward moving and brave” is actually the desperation of the poor to escape poverty in their small towns and villages, due to failed economic policies of successive governments in India, and most of them ruled by your party. Be ashamed!

You would have understood that young man's desperation only if anyone in your family worked for money in a regular job, during the past 4 generations. I am talking about 10 to 20 years of productive employment, instead of living off tax payers money. Sorry for being blunt, but you would have understood his poverty if you worked for even 10 years to earn a living in the fiercely competitive Indian job market.

6) Rahul, how do you describe monsoon early morning in Mumbai?

Rahul: “4’o clock in the morning, we walk off in the galis of Bombay, monsoon season, feet were going into puddles.”

Query: Sir, if there are puddles even in India's financial capital, can you imagine how much “Bharat Nirman” has happened in the smaller towns and cities of India during the past 9 years of your mother's governance?

7) Rahul, can you tell us about the most important infrastructure need of India?

Rahul: “We have to provide the roads on which our dreams are paved. And these roads can’t have potholes. They can’t breakdown in 6 months. They have to be big roads, because they are going to carry strong people, they are going to carry strong forces.”

Comment: Glad that you talked of roads. Do you know that the first job your family did after coming to power in 2004, was to slow down the massive road building project setup by Vajpayee government? Not only that, they even spent crores to remove his pictures from all those highways being built. And now you lecture about building roads? Wah!

8) Please tell us more about your train journey.

Rahul: “people were not the only things moving in that train. Ideas moved with them.”

Clarification: Rahul baba.. I don't know if you ever traveled for 36 hours in a train in your entire life, amidst ordinary people of India. I doubt you did considering the way you are talking about one train journey. Yes, trains carry people and trains carry ideas all the time. Ask any migrant to any big city and they will tell how they came with big ideas and positive spirit. Maybe you should travel in trains more often, particularly in the sleeper and general compartments.

9) What's the biggest problem in India today?

Rahul: “Our problem is not joblessness, it is lack of training and skills”

Shock: Dear baba.. do you even understand why people don't get jobs? Don't tell me you don't know the meaning of the word 'joblessness'!

10) Dear Rahul, describe India's educational system to a chamber full of business people.

Rahul: “Look at our text books, open them out. Most of the stuff is not really relevant to what they are going to do. Who knows what they are going to do. You know what they are going to do. Why? Because you are going to give them the jobs. You are the guys who are going to employ them. Do you have a role in our education curricula? Do they ask you? Do they? Does someone come to you and say, hey listen, what do you think? Does it happen? I am asking. Does it happen systemically? Do you have structures in universities? Not individual relationships. Do you have structures in universities that allow you to impact what the IIT is teaching? Do you? It is a question. You don’t. Those are the type of structures we have to build. Our universities structures are closed. They are silos. I meet these guys, they are brilliant guys, absolutely brilliant, but a university today is a network. It’s no longer a silo; the network has to be
connected to the industry. It has to take input from industry and it is not happening.”

Confusion: Rahul baba.. if India's text books are obsolete, if you are not sure who will give jobs to those studying those text books, if there are no structures in the universities, if the government does not consult business owners frequently, then it is whose fault? Your Congress party which has ruled for nearly all but 10 years since independence, or someone else? And, we are still scratching our head to make sense of what you said above.

11) What's Rahul's advice to a group of top business people of India?

Rahul: “And that is where you guys come in. You are the people who are going to take the lead for the creation of jobs”

Comment: Yes, they will create jobs. But what do you do with lakhs of crores of public money, being doled out through NREGA and other employment schemes? Can you tell the nation how many jobs were created during UPA 2 and contrast with earlier governments? How many jobs did you create as an MP of Amethi in the past 9 years?

12) Baba, what's that Kennedy speech excerpt you mentioned?

Rahul: “President Kennedy famously said that a rising tide raises all boats. I oversee a women’s self help group movement in my constituency and in Uttar Pradesh. Chatting to them once, I told them this and said the President of the United States said a rising tide raises all boats. A rising tide doesn’t raise people who don’t have a boat. We have to help build the boat for them”

Comment: Rahul baba.. even when giving metaphors they must make sense to the audience and also the people you talk about. Amethi is at least 40 KM from a big river and why do they even need a boat? If you talked to someone in Mangaluru, Prayag or Kanyakumari this boat analogy would have made sense to them. Something to think about..

13) Rahul sir, any views on alienation of communities?

Rahul: “When you play the politics of alienating communities you stop the flow of movement
of people and ideas – and when that happens we all suffer.”

Comment: Aha.. Do you remember your party's “Saffron terror” nonsense? When such politically and religiously motivated statements are made, without any supporting facts, will they do anything but alienate communities? Speak to Shinde, Diggy and Chidu once and also read what Wiki leaks wrote about your own views on this topic.

14) And baba, what was that comment about exponential thinking?

Rahul: “As we have moved forward to meet these challenges we must remember that we have
a tendency in India to think about solving all our problems incrementally. This is a
mistake. There are some problems, which require exponential solutions. Whenever
India has done well it has done so not by incremental steps but by radically
transforming its structures. Look at our successes – from the Green Revolution to
the White Revolution to the IT and Telecoms Revolution. All those successes were
the result of exponential thinking.”

Clarification: My head is spinning now. Who taught you about Green revolution, white revolution, IT and Telecom revolution? I am from a generation that lived through IT revolution. I can tell confidently that all the growth happened in steps. India did not jump from land line to smart phone directly. It went through basic phone upgrades. Internet for IT did not reach 20Mbps speed overnight. I used internet 18 years back via a modem when even 56 kbps was a luxury. There was no guarantee that most of the packets won't be lost in transmission. India did not get flashy Windows i7 laptops overnight. It took over 25 years to move from a 32 bit 386 processor to today's i7. India did not jump to cloud computing overnight. It took decades of computing improvements. Get your basics right Rahul baba..

15) Lastly, Rahul sir, what are the basic components of business?

Rahul: “The poor are one component of our country. Business is another component. The middle-class is the third component. We have to work with all these components.”

Comment: Ayyo... have you heard of producer and consumer model at all? Which college did you go to sir?

Did you have enough? I think I had enough of these serious remarks.

Section 3:

So, Let's read some hilarious comments from below the video:
  1. “He should be honored with the title of 'Sir' after Ravindra Jadeja.”
  2. “The level of radiation of dumbness from this guy is orders of magnitude larger than the radiation of all of the radioactive materials present on this planet”
  3. You forgot to put Rahul baba saying, Rani ki Jhansi!"
  4. “The New channel should call him every week and turn this hour into a weekly comedy show. need a headache medicine asap now.”
  5. “Share it on your Facebook profile titled as, ""Most inspiring Speech"", I bet you will lose all your friends...”
  6. “My favorite: Your are empowered but your are dis-empowered.. LOL, River, Waves, Boats.. Beehive”
  7. “My girlfriend's cat has a better IQ than this loser.”
  8. “Watching this clip was very painful and frustrating! Leave alone his IQ... I think it is criminal even to bear him speak. Now just think if ever he becomes PM? What a terror!”
  9. “My kid in the ninth standard would do a better job...what an Idiot”
  10. “He is uttering retardedness like a tracer bullet..:P”
  11. “My EARS are bleeding... But i still cant stop laughing !!”
  12. “Has he ever listened to himself??”
  13. And here is the best comment: “CII must have fired the guy who came up with idea of inviting him”
And, this particular comment sums up Rahul's IQ:

02:40 Poor people= Weak people?
04:34 "They are going to carry strong people". So leave the weak (=poor) people behind?
06:36 "let me go back to the women". (Then searches for the "women")
06:50 lost "it" (women??)
07:32 opposite of incremental is exponential?? (nobody taught that math to me)
09:30 5 crores divided among 700 pradhans. So each gets a "couple of crores". I must be a bad engineer to not know the math behind it
12:14 Definitely not if you are that guy on the horse
14:10 Yoga=Dance?

Long live Rahul baba.... and let 100s of such #PappuCII speeches flow into the “land of energy” :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Let us blame BJP and RSS

After any terror attack in India, we can almost predict how the “seculars” (read as anyone not associated with BJP or Sangh ideology) react. Here are some examples to prove the point.

Terror attack 1: The 26/11 attack on India by Pakistani terrorists.

After the dastardly terror attack on Mumbai in 2008, which was nothing but a well planned and funded proxy war waged by Pakistan on Indian civilians through brainwashed Jihadi terrorists, Congress party's General Secretary Digvijaya Singh released a book. RSS ka Shadyantra, 26/11 (RSS conspiracy, 26/11). 

Digvijaya Singh, an ex CM of Madhya Pradesh, and the teacher of Rahul Gandhi, even went on to say that the Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had called him, hours before he was killed in the terror attacks, to tell him about threats he had received for probing Hindu extremists and their terror links.

Image: milligazette

No wonder investigators feel disheartened when the ruling Congress party's top leader openly misleads the nation this way. It was well established right from the start that the terrorists were Pakistanis. Indian and American courts clearly proved the facts in the coming days resulting in convictions and even the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani Jihadi terrorist caught in the attack. 

So it was not RSS, but Pakistani Jihadi Terrorists who did it. 

But after legal worries, the book writer Aziz Burney apologized on the front page of his newspaper Rashtriya Sahara on Jan 29, 2011. 

But has Congress or Digvijaya Singh apologized for blatently misleading India? I don't recall any.. I am not surprised also. Here's why.

Terror attack 2: The April 2013 attack near BJP office in Bengaluru.

And how did Congress leaders and supporters react? See below.

 Karnataka MP from Congress, H Vishwanath added more nonsensical rhetoric with this.
Congress leader and Member of Parliament A H Vishwanath has alleged that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is behind the bomb explosion in Malleshwaram near the BJP office in Bangalore. 
 Now Karnataka CM, then Opposition leader, Siddaramaiah also parroted a similar line.
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah raised suspicions of BJP’s hand in a bomb blast, that occurred near BJP office in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Speaking to press persons on the sidelines of a party workers meet of Krishnaraja constituency, in Mysore, he said that there were chances of BJP colluding with anti-social elements to “plant a bomb” near its office, “for electoral gains”.
Here also, the orgasmic premature verdicts from Congress camp turned out to be totally false. The 2013 Bengaluru blast was linked by the probing police to Al Ummah, a banned Islamic terrorist organization from Tamil Nadu. Nearly 12 terrorists are arrested so far and all of them happened to be Jihadis, who have nothing to do with RSS or BJP.
The Bangalore police have identified the person who probably parked the bomb-laden motorcycle near the BJP office in the city on April 17 as Panna Ismail, a former member of the banned Tamil Nadu terror outfit, Al Ummah. He had jumped bail in mid-March in a terror case in Tamil Nadu. Sixteen people, including 11 policemen, were injured in the blast.

In the court documents filed by the police, Ismail, a resident of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, has been named in the list of 12 persons accused of carrying out the blast. While documents say that Ismail and two other Tamil Nadu men, Bilal Mallick and Fakruddin, are at large, the police have shown the arrests of nine others. Both Mallick and Fakruddin are linked to Al Ummah.
So yet again, Congress supporters and top leaders got foot in the mouth. Worse, no apologies to India for misleading yet another terror attack.

Terror attack 3: The May 2013 terror attack on a Congress election convoy in Chhattisgarh.

This was more bizarre than the earlier ones. Here, within minutes, tweets and messages were floating on how BJP government failed, how Raman Singh the CM must be dismissed and so on. Lots of drama unfolded with Sonia Gandhi even rushing with lot of top leaders, issuing statements and then press giving lot of anti BJP sermons.

And after the initial high drama after this unfortunate incident, completely politicizing the terror attack to blame it on BJP, NIA found top Congress leaders hand-in-glove with terrorists.

The same Congress workers who were holding banners "Raman Singh Sharam Karo" (Shame on him), were no where to be seen when NIA confirmed Congress conspiracy behind Chhattisgarh naxal attack.

So yet another terror attack, this time by Communist Maoists, back fired on Congress after all the initial shouting against BJP. The attack was established by NIA as a handiwork of Communist Terrorists hand-in-glove with Congress top leaders of Chhattisgarh. Investigation is still going on.

Terror attack 4: The July 2013 attack on Gaya's Buddhist temple.
Even before the NIA investigators are in Patna, already the "secular" nonsense to blame BJP, Modi and Sangh started after this terror attack. See some selected ones (thanks to friend Ajit Gupta for pointers)

It's incredible how many of these "analysis" and "views" match with the Congress ring leader Digvijaya Singh's own RSS and BJP phobia.

He "warned" Nitish Kumar in particular and non-BJP ruled states in general, to be "careful".

If you have carefully observed so far, you won't be surprised if this Bodhgaya attack may also eventually turn out to be some Jihadi terrorist hand, and nothing to do with RSS or BJP. 

When will these shameful "seculars" grow up? That too on matters of significant national interest like terror attacks?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Childhood Memories from Western Ghats of 1940s and 1950s

My Amma was very fortunate to grow up in the pristine Melenadu (Western Ghats) area of Karnataka, during the 1940s and 1950s. And whenever we had long chats after dinner, she would recollect her childhood. This blog will detail four such memories, organized in 4 putas (pages). I had written these a few years ago, and thought will share with my new online friends here.

Longish post, but written for those who want to enjoy reading about nature, and life in a small south Indian village during India's independence time. It's a good change from the routine politics and current affairs that we overload our brains with. The funny part here was that the folks in these stories had no idea that India gained  independence, even by September or October of 1947! Such was their remoteness and disconnect from what was happening in the rest of India.

PuTa 1: Rain Rain.. Please go away!

Our teenage girl had begun her high school stint. In those days post independence, sending girls to high school was a big No-No in villages of MalenADu (ma-le = hilly, nADu = land). After completing 4 years of primary school and another 4 years of middle school, she was probably the 4th girl in her entire village to go to high school...better, she was the first girl in her village to wear slippers.. truly from a rare trend setting family.

Her village was a typical male-nADu type, about 30 minutes walk from her school in Sringeri small town. Being a famous seat of Hindu religion associated with Adi Shankara, there was no death of religious/orthodox people in these hilly regions. Her district board high school was supposed to close at 4.30, but that day, rains started lashing out early. As the school got closed early, Seetha headed home holding her umbrella with girl friend Saroja. Two school boys walked in front as usual.

These kids were not strangers to rain as it used to rain 4 to 6 months in these regions of western ghats. But that day was really bad. The haLLa (small stream) joining Tunga river, had to be crossed to get to their village. The stream was overflowing with rapid surge and roaring sound. The only sAra (bridge) to cross the stream, that is 30 feet in depth had been flooded.

Just to show a tree bridge example.
From: avocaproject.org
Their only chance of getting home was to walk over a baggu-halasu (bent Jack fruit tree) branch, spanning 12 feet at the narrowest point of the stream. Subbaraya and Yashwant, the two boys walked over to the other side bravely. But our girls are afraid. They just couldn't see the roaring, red, stream below..forget bringing out courage to walk over it in lashing rain. How could we cross holding school bag made of gunny threads, an umbrella? How can we do the balancing act of walking over a slippery branch? Seeing their pathetic plight, Subbaraya climbed back up the branch, gave his folded umbrella's end and asked Seetha to walk straight towards him, without looking down. Shivering & with her heart in her mouth, she walked one step at a time, not looking down at apparent one-slip-death! Every step was torturous & life threatening. Finally she made it to the other end, soon followed by her girl friend.. Ufff.. a rainy day to remember for life! Every step brought her memories of her mom as that could have been the last step :(

Nine years before that, Indian independence was almost on cards. Our 5 year old girl was admitted to a British setup government primary school, on the backyard of Shiva PArvati temple near her village. Those were days when there was no kindergartens or play homes. They played at home.. literally! Her sister, 4 years elder to her dragged this reluctant kid to school. But our rANi (queen) promptly ran back to house within an hour to her mom's cozy lap. It happened a few days and finally they left hope for that year. One more year with dear mommy! :)

But the next school year, her luck wasn't that good. She was escorted to school by not just her elder sister, but sisters' classmates too. Some days even the village teacher used to take her to school with nice words. It was a torture for our girl to get away from her comfort zone at home. Her home was a big one, right on the banks of river Tunga. Her elder brothers had grown tarkAri (vegetable) right in the backyard for fresh produce every day. Lots of kinds of flowers & fruits to pluck from.. 4 big milk cows and a few calves with each having a typical village female names - BangAri, PuTkALi, MangaLagowri and Lakshmi. Her favorites were sampige/champak flower and halasu (jack) fruit trees. Her attige (sister in law) was very caring type. It's understandable that she had difficulty to go to 'boring' school from such a wonderful homely setting.. but she had to go. She had no clue about independence or a drastic change in country's political setup during her 6th year.. for that matter, most people including her teacher were quite ignorant on what's happening in rest of this vast, big country. They didn't even know about the gory bloodshed on India's newly created borders with millions losing lives. This was even before the first radio came to their village. Someone told the teacher after a few months since independence that, they had to stop flying Union Jack. Instead she remembers they started flying Mysore MahArAja's greenish flag in school with anthem praising the MahArAja. Mahatma Gandhi might have been renowned world over, but in these obscure villages near Sringeri, he wasn't very popular. They heard more about Gandhi's stay in TB (Traveller's bunglow) in Sringeri a few years back, where there was an offer of Rupees 5, a big amount in those days, to anyone who eats lunch with holayas (dalits/untouchables). Being in an orthodox setup, villagers were not thrilled hearing this as their village boys went to collect five free rupees because of Gandhi's stay! Other than that, they hardly knew anything about 'company sarkAra' (British government) or Gandhi's massive independence struggle :( Talk about real remoteness.

During her 4th standard, she was taught a famous poem giving hero status to raitas (farmers). It was written by rAstrakavi (national poet) Kuvempu. On her way to school each day, she walked along the banks of Tunga river. On the banks, hard working farmers used to grow paddy crops. She loved that splendid poem which was made into a movie song decades afterwards... uLuva yOgiya nODalli (see that cultivating sage)..

Even today, she remembers those best days of her life with views of farmers, green paddy fields, people crossing Tunga river on small boats and basically the magnificent scenary of western ghats

puTa 2: Darshan (Sighting) of huli rAya (majestic Tiger)

Source: pradeepamohan.net
Our heroine must have been 9 or 10 year old... but the memories of this page are etched in her memory forever. She only wishes today's kids growing up in concrete jungles had such a 'wild' childhood  :)

It all started one day with an invitation to travel to TeethahaLLi for a shrAdha (death ceremony) of her father's relative. Of course, being the middle of 20th century still, much before the hustle bustle of city life in later years, most of the family members could take off a few days and get to the family event. A bus ride from Sringeri to TeerthahaLLi and then the rituals of a death ceremony, in a traditional malenADu way got over.

But they had one other item to their itinerary before heading home. As you can guess, it does get interesting here.

There was another village MuttaLLi (muttu = pearl; haLLi = village), about 6 miles away, but through very thick *real* MalenADu jungles. These are real tropical forests with tall thick trees of many kind - rose wood, teak wood, jackfruit trees, honne, saala and many other giant types. There were a few precious Sri Gandha (sandal wood) trees also, both black and white varieties. Tremendous variety of flowers. Nightqueen (rAtri rANi) kind of evergreen shrub flowers, sent out their immensely strong scents throughout the path. Since they could only leave the originating village after eating lunch in the afternoon, they decided to leave just after dark. It's a good 6 to 7 hours of walk through the forest and they had experience. They had to travel that evening/night since the next function was early morning at the destination.

So there enters our familiar village setup of those thick tropical forests... the beloved ettina gADi (bullock cart). Two magnificent, well fed, blackish brown, tall & muscular ettus (bullocks) were fed huraLi (beans) through the afternoon.

The group had Seetha and her two sisters, mother and a couple of other womenfolk riding within the kamAnu (arch) of the gADi. They had a small cover in the front as well as back. A male driver holding the strings. A group of male passengers walking in the front with their panjus (primitive open lanterns) in their right hand, with left hand holding a container of oil to pour regularly. Another group of males are going to follow the gADi from the back side, holding torch lights of those days with big sticks in their hand.

So started the 'memorable' journey at sunset. The only problem other than the exhuberance & jubilation of piercing through a thick *real* forest is the *real* wild life! Yes, they had many kinds of hAvus (snakes) to begin with. Leaving aside others down the chain, their biggest dreading was of course the king of these jungles.. huli rAya (king Tiger). Our girl had heard stories of people sighting tigers, but you can just imagine the goosebumps & elevated adrenaline levels of a 9 or 10 year old when she knows that she will have a *real* chance of seeing one that night.. that too in wild as they knew nothing about zoos in those days.

A couple of miles elapsed. There are how-haas being shouted in rhythm by walking menfolk.. our girls & their elders inside the arch of the gADi are singing stuff, talking or just listening to the silence of the forest being pierced by the gejje (ankle chain) of the majestic bullocks.

Suddenly the driver senses that something is wrong..Can't describe the nervous panic of our girl just seeing the uneasy driver. His ettus (bullocks) are behaving strangely. One is panicking left & right while the other is reluctant to move further. Suddenly the ride becomes very bumpy. Someone walking in the back figures out due to experience. Hey.. the bullocks must have smelled tiger!! Oh.. boy. that's not easy to control. These are massive 500 KG+ bullocks and if they run helter shelter in panic, one can only imagine what would happen to our heroine & her co-passengers. They tell the driver to calm the beasts down.. and he does it very well with some help from others. He calls out their names, feeds them some food, massages them, talks to them and it does seem to help a bit. But still they are very panicky. Just then, the front group starts to shout loud & with all sorts of tongue noises...dbllllll dblllllll dbllllll.. Start waving their panjus (lanterns) in a pattern. The prior group starts beating the sticks loudly on the ground creating more *music*.

The reality is that no one knows where the tiger is.. if at all there is a tiger around. Where would you find out in such a thick forest where just a bullock cart path is the widest highway available?

Someone did use their brain in such a situation. They asked the back group to start looking around with their battery powered torches. Then comes the predicted loud shout.. look left.. allidE.. allidE.. (THERE IT IS) !! Needless to say, everyone but the driver looked at that direction, while the driver is busy shielding his massive beasts from the sight.

Our queen looked with heart in her mouth, tightly holding her sisters & amma, from the backside of the arch of the vehicle... Giving her a glimpse of his majestic walking style, was the *real* huli rAya.. our king of the jungle. He was out of their sight within seconds, much faster than anyone's goosebumps subsided! They say tigers can't see bright light as it's too torturous for them.. so he might have just walked away cursing the men from spoiling his tasty 'burger' meal catch attempt ;)

No one remembers anything beyond that in clarity. They did reach MuttaLLi by early morning, ready to tell the whole village about their adventure.. after all there are not many nights where you walk through a thick tropical jungle & have a sighting of huli rAya. The amazing part is that even after nearly 6 decades, the story still gets circulated as though it was yesterday night... we city bred 'unfortunate' ones will have to just listen. Me wonders.. what are the odds today for any one of the 6.5 billion humans to sight one of 5000 to 7000 tigers remaining on this planet.. that too in wild.. that too crossing your path in the middle of night? :(

Who knows? Maybe 2 to 3 generations down in 21st century, these tiger sightings may just be a folkfare.. permanently limited to stories :( She hopes not and me too! 

puTa 3: The untold story of the Shankaracharya

Over 5 and half decades later, in Hyderabad, one of her childhood friend's younger sister comes to meet all the way from Warangal. She also brings her husband, brother and sister in law. Four of them speak KannaDa, with the lone professor husband of that Warangal lady trying to just be in listening/absorbing mode. So I joined them late in the night, trying to involve that gentleman with a mix of Hindi & English, so that he can join the conversation. A few minutes into the discussion of the 1000 pillar temple of Warangal, suddenly I hear something that I don't recall hearing before. Slowly the setting shifts to 1950s Sringeri and over the next 30 to 45 minutes details come out, amidst snacks & fruits that my wife started to bring frequently. Obviously with my theoretical interest in stuff like Shankaracharyas, yOga & praANayAma, I got hooked. My mother has special appreciation to that brother from Hyderabad & sister from Warangal combo as both have accomplished a lot today. But she knows that things weren't that good decades back when their father had lost his father early. She vaguely recalls her mother telling her about occasionally feeding that shy boy and how things started unfolding for better later in his family.

It was 1954.. MahAlaya amAvAsya day near Navaratri time. A very auspicious day for a town where the chief attraction is Goddess ShArada/Saraswati. Navaratri, or 9 days of celebration is the time where thousands turn up in religious & cultural fervor. But this time things were destined to be different. She must have been knocking on doors of her teenage. Early morning, the girl comes out as usual rubbing her eyes, looking for dear mommy. She does sense quickly that things are not normal. There is no trademark home made filter coffee aroma. Both her parents as well as scores of others are outside the home, busy speculating & talking and some even crying. Over the next few minutes, she finds out that the world around these small villages have collapsed.. at least figuratively speaking. Their beloved Shankaracharya Chandrashekara Bharati swamy is no more. All she hears is jala samAdhi (intentional departure via water) at the brahmi muhurtha (4.30 AM).

It takes a little more time for the whole story to sink into her young brain. It must have been tough for a girl to understand death itself, but this was a special case of a very popular holy man, that too in an unusual way. Seems like the swamy in his 60s was losing interest with loukika (material/physical) world for a few years now. Those close to him, with her own father included, knew this not-so-secret stuff. Obviously those around the Swamy were carefully watching him. That day, just like any other day, he went with his assistant Mahabala BhaTTa to Tunga river for bath. Water levels & force was still very good even after peak rainy season. But this particular dip for the Guru was different as he didn't come up at all. It is said that he left his breath in a prANayAma method inside the water. Sensing that something is not right, Mahabala panicked. To make things worse, he wasn't a swimmer. Still, somehow he dove inside and held his guru's leg.. but couldn't pull the body out for obvious reasons. Tunga's water has it's own rules. Predictably both him and his guru were moved by slow floods. He is catching for breath, screaming 'kApADi.. kApADi' (help.. help), but not leaving his guru's leg. By that time, the water is pulling them near a local RSS shakha (branch). One of the early morning exercising RSS local chief, KEshavAchAri jumps into the water. Catching hold of MahAbala he shouts.. leave the soude (wooden log). To his shock, Mahabala is blabbering, not soude, but gurugaLu (his holyness). After a bit of struggle the RSS folks bring both bodies to the shore. Mahabala was barely breathing after having gulped lots of water, while the guru's prANa pakshi (vital breath) had flied out. Somehow after KEshavAchAri makes guru's disciple speak a bit, he learns what happened and rushes to the maTha (temple office). Bad news always wins the race against any good news. Right? It doesn't take much time for the news to make rounds.

Over the next couple of hours, predictable things happen. The body of his holiness is brought in. MahAbala survives. The full story unfolds and he does get a lot of praising for trying so much. The next ShankarAchArya Shri Abhinava Vidya TIrtha was already crowned a few years back, but now gets a rough start to his tenure. Holding his immense grief, he handled the situation well, personally praising MahAbala BhaTTa's brave efforts. Sringeri's main chowki (square) held that body of the elder ShankarAchArya for public darshan (viewing). All temples got closed. Hundreds and then thousands started coming by the time golden palanquin was taking out the procession. Nothing surprising about the weather there as rain started pouring.

By afternoon, the guru's remains were put to samAdhi/full rest with vEda ghosha (chanting).

By the time I absorbed what happened by asking small questions this elderly group, I had already eaten a couple of plates of bajji (fried potato snack), sweets, fruit pieces and was surely going to miss my dinner. But neither my mother nor me would forget that eventful early morning's story, just before navarAtri, long long time back! I was like.. why would an 'all knowing' spiritual leader do this? (I don't have soft corners for suicide)

Maybe he knew the purpose of his life and he reached that point... but still.. could he? I still can't get it, but that doesn't change the sadder expression on the faces of these elderly group, late in the night in a distant Hyderabad. slowly I accompany everyone to the lift door and it took a lot more time to call it a night as my mind was doing it's circus trying to piece the spiritual aspects of what I just heard! The more amazing thing for me was how these elderly folks still felt sad 55 years later, just like how they would have felt at that time.. genuine sad expression! 

puTa 4: MalenADina mane (A MalnAD house)

I always have this fascination towards village houses, particularly the ones next to rivers, amidst thick jungles, having plenty of trees/flowers in the back yard, where a big family lived 'happily ever after'.. ok.. just 'happily' for the time being. So I asked my Amma.. How big was your house, where did you sleep? what did you eat?

She started recalling & even drawing on the paper to explain me. For someone like me who grew up in mostly 200 to 300 sq. ft homes in crowded corners of BengaLUru, with shared toilets with multiple houses, these massive houses, yards, trees, river etc. sound like fairy tales! So here goes one.. a real tale, but in a slight hurry.

The house she grew up was a typical Kai henchu (hand made small village tiles, horse shoe shaped) old house. Something close to the one above, minus coconut/palm trees. Once you enter from the street, there are 4 steps after the small wooden gate. There was of course a kaDakaTTu (primitive compound) around the gate. Once you climb the small steps, you hit a jagali (front altar). For those familiar with village life, people laze around this altar during evenings.

From then you get the main door with rangOli (drawn every day) in front on the ground and tOraNa (decoration made off mango leaves) on top. Once you get past the main door, you will see a big chowki/inner square, nearly 25' by 30'. This could easily seat about 60 people for functions. This chowki is surrounding the central angaLa (aangan/inner court yard) with tuLasi (basil) plant in a movable container. This was the age of conducting marriage & other functions inside the home itself. This angaLa has seen plenty of marriages, naming ceremonies and other festivities. Her elder sister was destined to be married right there too. Two bedrooms in that angaLa's corner, but the chowki was basically an area left for resting, functions, socializing and even sleeping during hot days or for guests. Her father used to sleep in the corner bedroom while her elder brother (used to call aNNayya and her sister-in-law used to take up the second bedroom. Note that the top of angaLa was open, so they even had drainage for rains. One other corner had uyyale (swing) and a huge khaNaja (barn) to store 1 year's worth of paddy (rice with skin intact). yeah one year's worth!

Now from angaLa, if you climb up 3 steps back to chowki, you get to naDumane (main hall) and other rooms from the central door. This whole area is the next extension of the house. On the left, you see a big hall (naDumane). Hall was also used by girls as bedroom during night, when they used to sleep next to each others. On the right side of the passage, you get a huge main kitchen. This had enough seating for 15 people to eat together, on the floor of course, in lines. They had 2 huge stoves, village style, with burning logs at the bottom. A corner had a ENi (ladder) to climb up for storage material. They even used that for drying cloths & storing cattle's food. In these villages, they didn't have a separate pUja room. They constructed a small devara mane (pUja room) inside the main Kitchen, fully complete with a small door. The tradition was that.. close the pUja room door and then eat food. Her mom used to serve all the family members before she started her food. Unbelievable dedication for her family! No one touched the food till the head of the household started & said 'kutkolrO' (start). No chance of criticizing the taste, no 'smart' talk. Just eat & walk out.:(

Back to the central corridor, on the left side, next to main hall, there was a small kitchen. Being a traditional orthodox family, they had to cook in the small kitchen when cooking without maDi (after bath, wearing clean semi-wet cloths). So when the kids used to go to school in the morning, their tiffin (breakfast) was cooked in the small kitchen. Consumption of breakfast was usually in naDumane. There was also a space in the small kitchen for throwing bALe ele (plantain leaves) that they used to eat food upon.

Then back to main corridor.. proceed 3 steps down to the next extension of the house. This is another big angaLa (second yard) for utilities. Washing cloths, vessels etc., that too mostly during rainy season. For rest of the year, they used to open the backdoor to go to hoLe (river stream) for washing & cleaning.

Walk out of the back angaLa, they had a huge bathroom on the left side. It had a hanDe (primitive water boiler) with big space below for putting wooden logs to burn. Beside the bathroom, they had a big koTTige (cow shed) where all their favorite cows & calves were stationed. kALi, sOmi, puTTakALi, Lakshmi, Gowri, Seetha, bangAri were some names of the cows & calves. The best part she remembers is that the entire village used to let their cattle to go out for grazing at 8 in the morning. No human actually accompanied them. Before sunset, they were actually home, with full stomach, standing right in front of their koTTige door (external door). Remember, they knew what time tigers start roaming in their grazing area, so they were home around 5, not to take a chance. Once let in, they used to stand in their respective gooTa (space) asking to be tied with rope! Of course, they tied the calves separately so that there is enough milk in the morning for the family. The cattle also had a kallu bAni (stone water tank) in front of the house. Every morning, Seetha & sisters filled 16 bindige (round container) water.. This was free drinking hole for any cow in the village with occasional refills during hot days.

Amazing animal discipline each & every day! Except one night.. when one particular gabba (pregnant) cow didn't return. Seetha's mom was worried & asked some villager to go look for the cow. To their relief, he did return with both the cow & it's newborn, which was struggling to walk! It was reward time not to mention for both the household & the villager.

Continuing from the koTTige at the back, climb down 3 steps after hittala bAgilu (back door), you get a walk way. kanakAmbari/crossandra, mallige/jasmine flowers on the right, various soppus/greens on the left, various vegetables like badane kAyi/brinjal, mUlangi/raddish, meNasina kAyi/chillies, haravE soppu/some kind of green for daily cooking. Then the main water hole for the house, bAvi/well was present. This was a shared well for their house and the neighbours. This was one well in the entire village, where water never ceased to exist, even in the middle of summer. Sweet water at around 14 ALa (14 human lengths), to be drawn using rope & rATi (wheel at the top). Seetha, sisters & brothers used to draw water throughout the day and their mom once in a while during afternoon. Talk about home-made exercise which helped them grow taller!  Not only for household folks & cattle, the same water was used for plants too, except rainy season.
Walk amidst gulAbi/rose, Walk past the well, you have a big sampige/champak flower tree. Our heroine used to climb till halfway, but her sister used to climb all the way to the top. Of course, sister also helped our girl to climb down after teasing a bit. Next to it was mandAra flower plants. This was meant for God's worship. Next to it a halasu/jack fruit tree. In fact, one more jack fruit tree before the well too. One was Seetha's & her akka/elder sister took over the other. The best part is that they fed water every single day to grow these jack fruit trees, but in their entire lives, they didn't get to eat a single fruit from these trees! Nature's laws are sometimes strange :( Even today, villagers eat plenty of those tasty jack fruits, which is how things should be in my opinion as we all eat something based off someone else's hard work earlier.

Left to the path, sIbekAyi/guava tree, enough to feed the home with tasty fruits year round. Next to them were spaTika flowers. Then came nEraLe /jambhul fruit tree, chakkota (similar to grapefruit/mUsambi, but much bigger) tree which was a unique feature of the village. Walk past them, finally you get series of curved step way to go to hoLe/river stream. This was the best memory spot as they used to get there for bathing, washing and even playing! During rainy season, they were avoiding the steps due to river overflow.

During heavy rains, the sisters stood near the back door & grazed at the overflowing river.. Panicking, our girls used to ask mommy.. Amma, what happens if the river comes into the backyard? Mom was calm as ever.. Gangamma would go away, if you pray with proper devotion.. no wonder the girls prayed & soon gangamma would recede! 18 years in this house and every single year was a sweet memory, which today's urban born generation would have a very tough time imagining..

Maybe more in the future, if I am in a mood to listen and blog her other stories....

Friday, May 24, 2013

IPL SpotFixing: If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

IPL 2013 has been a disaster in terms of credibility. Sreesanth and gang got caught. Now the damage is much deeper for this tournament. Bollywood Guys and Bookies are behind the bar. Even the biggest sharks at BCCI top post level are being suspected and being probed.

Like some great thinker said, Pakistani Terrorism and Indian Corruption can't be cured. So if you can't beat them, join them.

Let's propose some significant changes to the way IPL 2014 will be played, wherein we can legitimate some of these "wrong doings" and "cheating", to have even advantage to all the teams. Also, this will ensure that the spectators don't get any surprise. 100% transparency in spot fixing is my noble aim!

Change Number 1: Designated Bookies

No more surprises. Each IPL team will have the option of picking upto 5 bookies per season. Only two can be based of Pakistan or Dubai. If the location can't be traced, former banned cricketers like Prabhakar, Jadeja, Azaruddin can be consulted for expert opinion on the exact location of the bookies. 

Each bookie will be allowed to handle a maximum of Rs.500 crore betting per game and up to 100 phone numbers. Those numbers must be notified to the crime branch and team owner before the start of each game. And, no team can have more than 2 bookies from the same Bhai's gang. And those with murder charge sheet against them or the history of defaulting on betting payments, will need special permission from the BCCI Chairman to apply for bookie auction, after surrendering all their illegal weapons to the  nearest encounter specialist.

Change Number 2: Approved List and Quantity of Drugs

What happens in the after match parties is anyone's guess now. So IPL 2014 will have regulated list and quantity mentioned per player. Cocaine, Ganja, injectables will be circulated at the time of the auction of players.

It will be the team's responsibility to sensibly distribute the drugs themselves, thereby disallowing spurious elements contact their players in need, at odd times and odd places. And spot fixing handler girls and bookies must not be allowed to meet the players, after they start drug usage for that night.

Change Number 3: Spotfixing Signals

You must have seen in 2013. Sreesanth used a towel. Ankit Chauhan used a different method and so on. No more confusion. Each team will get a sponsored method (with logo or other display options of the sponsor) of spotfixing signal. It will be either a towel, or a big locket, or a wrist wearing device and so on. The umpire will ask the bowler before each over if he needs to make an announcement to the bookie and the world about a fixed over. Why just bowlers, let's also include some spotfixing options for the poor batsmen. This way we will have a fair level playing field across teams.

Note, only 3 overs max per game to be fixed. If the team pays a designated amount, then the signal will be kept a secret only between the players, umpire and the bookies via special signalling methods. This amount will come from the player auction fund's left over.

Change Number 4: Review of spotfixing and 2 challenges allowed.

Since spotfixing can make or break a team into 100s of crores each season, two challenges per game are allowed for the captains. For example, if the bowling side is opting to spotfix the 12th over, after the signal is made, the opposing team's captain can challenge and disallow the fixing for that particular over.

This is to give the opposing team a chance to pick the right situation and batsman to handle the fixed over, to enable their bookies make the best out of the precious opportunity. No partial over fixing allowed though.

Change Number 5: Only 3 lady escorts per team allowed.

Another important change for 2014 IPL would be that every team will get only 3 lady escorts per game. When the escorts heard that Sreesanth's iPhone had nearly 1500 numbers out of which 400 were air hostesses, there was panic in their industry. They want to give opportunity to more escorts,  socialites, handlers, dancers and other lady professions across the metro cities.

So each team has to pick 3 names, with one compulsorily from their home town. These ladies will be given special badges so that they can gain entry into after match parties, special spot fixing rooms and may even be player's rooms, upon special permission from the team management. Any girl found without following the protocol will be ejected from the IPL circuit for 3 full years.All their phone calls will be strictly monitored and recorded.

Change Number 6: You can only fix a player twice in a particular IPL.

With IPL fixing amount becoming so attractive, there has been a special request by the Dubai and Karachi based bookies that they want more options. There is also a tremendous fight among those players who have no international chance anytime in the near future. So accommodate all situations, the proposal is to have a max limit per player from spot fixing perspective.

A given player can opt to get fixed only for 2 matches in a season. This will be decided by a lottery as there are not enough matches to allow everyone to be fixed. Those selected for Indian national team in any format, will be given a lower preference in this list. In the unlikely event that a player declines to get fixed for a match, he can designate via his bookie, the next option. He will get 20% of the fixed amount, for this trading of spot.

These are the major changes. There will also be minor changes like no game to be fixed entirely, all payments in designated 3 currencies only, debarring a player who has fixed but didn't show signal cases, disallowing any fix-specialist player to enter politics for a 3 years period from the year of fixing, among other things. If you have noticed, there is no proposal here on how to make betting easier in various cities of India for a spectator. That is a tricky topic and it will be covered once the fixing rules are accepted by BCCI.

Watch this space for more details when 2014 IPL is closer. For now, let's switch on the TV to see if Srini Mama will lose his job tonight due to yet another Son-In-Law wheeling and dealing problem in India.

Credits: Image 1: newslinemagazine; Image 2: zeenews; Image 3: fakingnews; Image 4: wikipedia; Image 5: dailymail; Image 6: thehindu